Siblings spend 2,600 miles together on Pacific Crest Trail | Larry LaRue | The News Tribune

For years, the Pacific Crest Trail was an adventure that lay ahead of Elena and Gus Wimberger, a once-in-a-lifetime trek they’d dreamed of and planned.

Now, with it just over a week behind them, the Tacoma siblings look back on the characters met, injuries overcome, beauty seen and — during the final stretch when they hiked 48 consecutive hours — the possibility it could have cost them their lives.

“It wasn’t about the finish; it was about the unconditional kindness of the people we met,” said Gus, 18.

Gus and his 23-year-old sister had talked about the 2,663-mile trail for half their lives. They left in May, after she graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., and he from Foss High School.

“The toughest adjustment was just so much walking. You’d think there would be plenty of time to work on a journal, relax around the campfire,” Elena said. “We’d get up in the morning, pack, eat a candy bar and start walking. We’d stop when we were exhausted, go to sleep and then start over.”

Hiking from the Mexican border to the Canadian border isn’t for sissies.

Read more here:

Siblings spend 2,600 miles together on Pacific Crest Trail | Larry LaRue | The News Tribune.


Some Pacific Crest Trail hikers forced to use highways | Travel | The Seattle Times

WENATCHEE — If the snow doesn’t stop them, the government shutdown just might.

The last of this year’s Pacific Crest Trail through-hikers face tough challenges as they try to finish their 2,600-mile trek from Mexico to Canada.

Most were forced off the trail after several feet of snow fell in higher elevations of the Cascades last week. Some are now walking to the Canadian border along highways.

A few hardy hikers are still hoping to tackle the last section of trail to the border. Two dozen or so people were hanging out in the area around Winthrop, Okanogan County, on Monday waiting for snow to melt enough to continue.

Trail angels — people who live near the trail and offer support to hikers — estimate there are probably about 100 hikers still in the region either hoping to finish or trying to decide whether to finish their hike before winter sets in for good.

“They’re a pretty determined bunch,” said Andrea Dinsmore, a trail angel who lives west of Stevens Pass in Snohomish County.

After a storm early last week dumped several feet of snow in the Cascades, at least four through-hikers became lost and had to be found by search-and-rescue teams.

Late last week, Dinsmore had nearly two dozen hikers at her home. Several tried to get back on the trail but were turned back by deep snow.

Chelan County sheriff’s deputy Paul Rohrbach made a trip to Dinsmore’s to reason with the holed-up hikers. As a coordinator for the county’s search-and-rescue teams, Rohrbach said he wanted to persuade hikers who wanted to push on to take the highway instead of the trail.

“I was trying to prevent another search and rescue,” he said.

Rohrbach told the hikers that it’s easy to become disoriented and lose your way when the trail is covered in snow and that the highway walk to the border is about equal to the trail miles.

Four of the hikers at Dinsmore’s house decided to walk Highway 2 and then Highway 97 and 97A. Another six who were stopped by weather in Oregon walked by road from Portland. They crossed Blewett Pass on Sunday.

But snowy conditions aren’t all that’s stopping hikers this month. Some lucky or hardy enough to make it through the snow to Stehekin, Chelan County, were stopped by park rangers barring them from continuing down the trail where it enters the National Park Service.

The trail section crossing through North Cascades National Park is closed — along with all national park lands — because of the government shut down.

Wisconsin hiker Robin Grapa was stopped first by snow and then by park rangers. She and her hiking partner initially made it through the snow-covered trail beyond Stevens Pass and the park rangers at Stehekin. But by the time they reached the Winthrop area last week, the storm had covered the trail with 3 feet of snow. Six miles beyond Rainy Pass, they and a group of other hikers turned back after encountering a chest-deep snow drift.

“Some of the ridgelines dropped straight down, and the trail was slippery,” she said Monday, speaking by phone from a hotel room in Oregon. “If one of us lost our footing, there would be nothing to stop us from falling a long way.”

They were just 50 miles from the end of trail.

Not to be deterred from reaching Canada, they decided on an alternate route. They walked along Highway 20 to the less snowy Ross Lake Trail, which also would take them to Canada.

But at the trailhead they were met by a park ranger who turned them away.

“It was heartbreaking,” she said.

Some Pacific Crest Trail hikers forced to use highways | Travel | The Seattle Times.


Fundraising | Snohomish County Search and Rescue Helicopter Rescue Team

***As of April 2013, our HRT program has lost its main source of funding.***

We had been receiving $150,000 annually in federal funding, covering the cost of fuel and maintenance. In April 2013 this funding was eliminated – there are no funds allocated beyond 2014. Without a new funding source, this critical program will simply disappear.

Our day to day operations are not currently threatened but we must take action now to ensure that we are able to continue serving the community without interruption.

Your donations go directly to saving lives. We are a non-profit organization with no salaries to pay, nor overhead costs to negotiate. Your dollars go directly to rescue gear, helicopter maintenance and fuel costs– nothing else.

The vast majority of our team is staffed by volunteers. We train and rehearse so that we can be of assistance when accidents happen beyond the reach of normal emergency services.

Our Pacific Northwest community prides itself on the rugged wilderness so easily accessible just beyond our backdoor. Whether you hike, camp, fish, climb, hunt, ski or mountain bike, accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Help us maintain a rescue resource that will be ever ready for you.

When no one else can get to you in time, we are your last resort. Donate to support our Team.

Fundraising | Snohomish County Search and Rescue Helicopter Rescue Team.


Pacific Crest Trail Hiker Journals : Trail Journals, Backpacking and Hiking Journals

Pacific Crest Trail Hiker Journals : Trail Journals, Backpacking and Hiking Journals.